1) Will the stars show up?
As with any big name camps one of the big storylines is what stars will show up? This is certainly the case for Gator coach Will Muschamp and his Florida FNL camp this Friday.
Headlining the list of "maybes" is the state's top wide receiver, Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla.). As of the time of this writing it appears doubtful he will be in attendance. If you are the Gators that's a shame because it has been rumored that Lane and safety Quincy Wilson (Ft. Lauderdale University School) want to play together in college and perhaps make their decisions in early August. The one common school in terms of their collective recruitments is Florida. Wilson is scheduled to be there. Lane may be coming off a trip to Alabama. He is scheduled to visit the Crimson Tide but may not make that visit either. He could be close to shutting things down.
A high priority for Florida is four-star cornerback Chris Lammons (Plantation, Fla.). This is one defensive back they love and would like to get in the fold sooner rather than later.
It appears that the Gators have fallen out of favor with four-star cornerback Jalen Tabor (Washington D.C./Edison-Friendship). He named Florida his leader at The Opening out in Oregon earlier this month. But he recently tripped to Alabama, where the national champion Crimson Tide really did a number on him. Tabor left Tuscaloosa seeing red.
So where do things stand now? He informed us today that he will not attend FNL. Now it appears that the Gators will miss a golden opportunity to leverage an unofficial visit and Swamp environment to catch the Crimson Tide. However, some close to the situation still feel like Florida has a great shot to land this big, physical corner.
Scout.com did confirm today that five-star, two-way star Adoree Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra) will make it to camp at Florida. The Gators could make a big time push with this wide receiver/cornerback. They are battling locals USC and UCLA and some national powers for Jackson.
Speaking of mystery, what do you make of Alabama commitment Bo Scarborough (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Northport)? There is a chance that he will be in attendance at FNL. It will be a very good sign for Florida if he indeed shows up in Gainesville. This 6-foot-2, 234-pound running back has been a long time pledge to coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. But there has been a lot of speculation about the Gators possibly flipping Scarborough.
It helps that the Gators have already committed his cousin in tight end Cyontai Lewis (Alabaster, Ala./Kingwood Christian School). What kind of impact will that ultimately have? It won't hurt that's for sure. But it's far more important to get him on campus Friday.
Lastly, Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) has emerged as an important recruit for Florida. It appeared that the Gators were in the early driver's seat. But of late this three-star wide receiver has visited Florida State, Auburn and others.
It's not easy recruiting in the south. He needs to make a big impression on the coaching staff and the Florida coaching staff needs to make a big impression on him.
2) Where's Will?
Where's Florida head coach Will Muschamp and who is he talking to on Florida Field on Friday night? That will be something to watch if you are in attendance at the Swamp. You can bet that at least four to five prospects will get called out of their respective position groups to have a conversation with the Gator's head coach. It's these selected ones that could gain a Florida offer.
3) '15 stars coming out
If the names listed below actually do come to FNL Florida could put themselves in great position with many of the elite recruits in the 2015 class. Expected to attend are defensive linemen Byron Cowart (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) and CeCe Jefferson (Glen Saint Mary, Fla./Baker County), wide receiver John Burt (Tallahassee Lincoln), running backs Jordan Scarlett (Ft. Lauderdale University School) and Jacques Patrick (Orlando Timber Creek), linebacker Jeffrey Holland (Jacksonville Trinity Christian Academy), and cornerback Tavares McFadden (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage).
Shawn Burgess-Becker (Coconut Creek, Fla./Monarch) is a wide receiver/safety from south Florida that is vying for top prospect in the state honors next season and he's unclear as to whether he will attend FNL. The other potential No. 1 prospect in Florida next season is Kevin Toliver (Jacksonville Trinity Christian Academy). It doesn't appear that this LSU commitment will make it to Gainesville tomorrow night.
This is primarily what this camp is all about now, getting the top tier prospects from the next class on campus and performing in front of the Gator coaching staff.
4) Yeargin a key piece
Florida may only sign two true linebackers in this 2014 class. One key recruit here is four-star Richard Yeargin (Ft. Lauderdale University School). Michigan and Notre Dame have made their respective moves. For the Gators, Yeargin needs to show up, perform well and enjoy the setting in Gainesville on Friday night. If they miss on him and don't reel Christian Miller back in then what's their next move at this position?
5) It could be Sherrod Pittman
Too bad Pittman (Jacksonville First Coast) is a member of the class of 2015 and not '14. He's a linebacker from the same school that produced 2013 Gator signee Daniel McMillian. At the same stage he's not quite McMillian's equal. So it's important for Pittman to perform well under the Swamp lights on Friday night.
One thing is certain, Pittman is excited about the opportunity to workout before the Gator coaching staff at FNL. He also wants to build a better relationship with Muschamp.
6) A golden opportunity
Running back Dalvin Cook is from Miami Central high school. This four-star prospect is a Gator commitment and he's helping Florida recruit his teammate in 2015 star wide receiver Da'vante Phillips.
There was a big, recent controversy about Phillips and the Gators and to whether he gave Florida an early commitment. But after that firestorm subsided things remained the same – he's uncommitted while Florida is greatly interested.
Phillips has floated out the notion that he's "thinking about committing." He wasn't school specific but many feel that Florida is the team to beat at this point in time. A good night in the Swamp could perpetuate a decision sometime this weekend by Phillips for the Gators.
7) 2015 QBs
Florida has to be excited about the rising junior quarterback prospects that should be on campus and throwing at FNL in Christian Alexander (Lakeland, Fla./Christian School), Lorenzo Nunez (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison) and Dwayne Lawson (Tampa Hillsborough). Will one emerge from the 2015 pack? They would have loved to have had Ty Storey (Charleston, Ark.) there but he will not make it to FNL.
8) Watch the Frank brothers
Jordan and Felipe Franks are brothers that star at Crawfordville (Fla.) Wakulla high school south of Tallahassee in Florida's panhandle. Jordan is a rising senior wide receiver/safety that could possibly grow into a tight end. Meanwhile, Felipe is a big time quarterback prospect in the class of 2016. While it's still very early he's emerging as one of the very best signal callers in that class. At this time Florida believes he could be a potential ‘franchise' quarterback.
If he's that important to the future of the Gators program what does that mean for his older brother Jordan? Many Gator fans are hoping Florida offers and commits Jordan to help land Felipe. But this is the University of Florida we are talking about. Will the Gators give a scholarship to Jordan to get Felipe? It's something to watch this weekend and in the coming months because who signs Jordan will most likely have a great impact on what Felipe does in the future.
9) Where's the beef?
A big uncertainty regarding this camp for Florida is the offensive front, specifically 2014 prospects. Sure the Gators have already committed three prospects but they are not done. Meanwhile, they have, at least at this time, passed or missed on guys like Marcus Applefield (Weeki Wachee, Fla.), Corey Martinez (Tampa Catholic), Reilly Gibbons (St. Petersburg, Fla./ Catholic) and Delroy Baker (Ocala, Fla./West Port). Applefield could be getting ready to commit to an out of state program while Martinez, Gibbons and Baker have committed to FSU, Miami and Indiana respectively.
A big offensive tackle and likely five-star prospect in the 2015 class is Martez Ivey from nearby Apopka, Fla. Florida is one of the early teams that offered him a scholarship. We will all see what kind of impact FNL will have on Ivey.
10) Surprise, surprise
There is always a surprise or two as recruits can emerge and make a name for themselves at an event like FNL. Two rising seniors to watch for are cornerbackers Deondre Strozier (Land O'Lakes, Fla.) and Kwdarrius Smith (Orlando The First Academy). Meanwhile, 2016 stars, defensive end Jordan Woods (Ocala, Fla./Trinity Catholic) and wide receivers Sam Bruce (Ft. Lauderdale University School) and Nate Craig (Dade City, Fla./Pasco), could shine bright amongst the older guys at FNL.